Welcome Challengers to the 2021 Team Draft

Each student will download the topic selection formFrom the topic choices offered this year, rank your top 3 selections on the form and email to the Program Manager by Friday, Nov.13, 2020 at 12:00 pm (MDT). 

Carbon dioxide is captured, compressed and transported for storage deep underground until needed for a range of uses. Canada is well-suited for this tech, with 7 large sedimentary basins for permanent geological sequestration of captured CO2, a stable legal/regulatory system and significant experience with well drilling and injection, not to mention the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line.

Natural gas is prepared for shipping to foreign markets by cooling it to a liquefied state at -162oC. Canada has extensive shale gas resources to support a large LNG-export demand to Asian markets from its Pacific coast. LNG Canada is building an export facility in Kitimat, BC. Collaboration with the Haisla First Nation will bring employment and revenues to this coastal community.

Geothermal energy is produced by extracting the heat of the earth’s crust using water/steam from wells in open systems with an aquifer and hot convective zone. It is used for heating, cooling and power generation in greenhouse production, aquaculture and health spas. Scalable, on-demand heating/cooling is also achieved using a closed-loop system that circulates fluid contained in subsurface pipes. CanGEA recently completed a feasibility study to implement geothermal resources in place of diesel  in Nunavut communities.

Small modular reactors have a capacity of <300 MWe. Using the GoCo governance model, Canada has been exploring the potential for on- and off-grid applications of SMRs. Saskatchewan is the world’s 2nd-largest producer of uranium. SMRs are built for generating electricity from nuclear power and for process heat without the need for large grid systems. Modular designs accommodate module factory fabrication and short construction times. Policy issues associated with the disposal of radioactive waste in near-surface disposal facilities vs deep geological repositories (DGR) have been raised by the Saugeen Ojibway Nation.

Hydrogen gas does not occur naturally. Conventional tech uses steam-methane reforming (CH4 + H2O ⇌ CO + 3H2), where natural gas is used as the feedstock. Low-carbon tech uses water electrolysis (2H2O ⇌ 2H2O + O2). While the commercial use of electrolysers is not new, advances are being made in this clean tech for use in: H2-car fuel, H2-injection into the gas grid, industrial processes, electricity storage, and synthetic fuel manufacturing.


CAES is the storage of energy, generated in the form of compressed air, at one time for use at another time.  Storage under pressure can be achieved in large, steel, above-ground containers or subsurface salt caverns. The compressed air in storage is heated, expanded and released to a combustor in a gas turbine during peak demand periods to generate electricity.

There will be 4 teams of 5 students announced by Monday, Nov.16, 2020 at 12:00 pm (MDT). Each topic will have technical and socio-political components, including life cycle analysis and climate change.